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Sacraments

Wood and Water Work Wonders! A Homily for the First Sunday of Lent

February 17, 2018 0 Comments
Wood and Water Work Wonders! A Homily for the First Sunday of Lent

On the first Sunday of Lent the readings have a baptismal theme. This makes sense, for it is common that on this day the catechumens report to the Bishop for the Rite of Election, who officially recognizes them as the elect of God in these final weeks before their baptism. In today’s readings there are […]

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On Trust and Foolishness as Seen in the Exodus

July 23, 2017 1 Comment
On Trust and Foolishness as Seen in the Exodus

In daily Masses this week we are reading largely from the Book of Exodus, specifically the familiar story of the parting of the Red Sea by God, working through Moses. Unfortunately, Tuesday’s Feast of the St. James, good though it is, interrupts the story and we miss the critical passage in which the water is […]

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Marriage Mania: Average Couple spends more than $26,000 on Weddings

August 12, 2012 55 Comments

Back in the 1980s when I was ordained, there was a priest in the area who was famous (infamous) for the fact that he requested couples who were going to spend more than $5,000 on a wedding (more in those days than now) to pay a tithe, (one tenth) of what they spent on the […]

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What if God is unhappy with our praise? A call to the worthy reception of Communion

July 4, 2012 38 Comments

With some fear and trepidation I broach again the topic of the worthy reception of Holy Communion. Clearly the topic has been much in the news in the recent past and has intersected with politics, for the usual demands are that politicians be denied communion for their support of abortion, euthanasia and matters related to […]

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Concerning the obsession for photos at Liturgies – A Consideration of a Liturgical and Pastoral Problem

June 24, 2012 34 Comments

Consider the scene. The Bishop has taken his place at the entrance to the sanctuary. He is prepared to confirm some twenty children. It is a sacred moment, a Sacrament is to be conferred. The parents are in deep prayer thanking the Holy Spirit who is about to confirm their children for mission….. Oops, they […]

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On the Giving and Receiving of Holy Communion: Some norms to recall.

June 3, 2012 41 Comments

Recently here in the Archdiocese of Washington there was an issue regarding the denial of Holy Communion to a certain individual, which caused no little debate among the faithful. I am NOT going to reopen that case here, and ask all readers to please recall that, no matter what you may think, you do not […]

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Not Mindless Magic, but Mindful Mystery: On the Fruitful Reception of the Sacraments

May 30, 2012 6 Comments

A fundamental principle of the seven Sacraments is that they have a reality that exists apart from the priest’s holiness or worthiness. They work ex opere operato (ie.. they are worked from the very fact of the work). One need not doubt therefore that a sacrament is in fact given just because a bishop, priest […]

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Clarifying Certain Misunderstandings About Confirmation

April 23, 2012 39 Comments

Yesterday we discussed a bit about baptism and some of the pastoral practices surrounding it. Today in a kind of companion piece I’d like to address some of the distortions and confusion that often surround the Sacrament of Confirmation. Some one once said that Confirmation is the Sacrament in search of a theology. While not […]

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